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SC seeks Centre’s response on homosexuality

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 18:36

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought
a response from the Centre on the petition filed by a child
protection body challenging the Delhi High Court verdict
legalising gay sex on the ground that it was based on very
scanty and selective material.

A Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, G S Singhvi
and M K Sharma issued notices to the government and NGO Naz
Foundation and others, on whose petition the High Court had
held that criminalisation of gay sex among consenting
adults is violative of fundamental rights.
The petition filed by the Delhi Commission for
Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) contended that the dilution
of section 377 of IPC has legalised one more way of large
scale sexual exploitation of children.

Senior advocate Amarender Sharan and Amit Kumar,
appearing for DCPCR, said dilution of the penal provision will
have pernicious effects on Children.

The Bench tagged the petition of DCPCR with other
appeals on which the notices have already been issued and
posted the matter for hearing on October 1.

When the Bench wanted to know whether DCPCR had
intervened in the matter before the High Court, Sharan replied
in the negative and said it was doing so now as DCPCR, after
going through the judgement, has filed the appeal as it is a
statutory Commission for the protection of children.

The DCPCR submitted that plethora of scientific
research highlighting the problems of homosexual behaviour and
their serious impact on child welfare was not brought before
the High Court which held that the homosexual behaviour is a
normal behaviour.
"The High Court was not having the benefit of
scientific studies and on a very scanty, selective material
has passed the judgement holding that the homosexual behaviour
is a normal behaviour," the petition said.

The Commission contended that gay sex would adversely
affect the physiological and mental development of a child and
the High Court has failed to take into account the problems
encountered by homosexuals and their outcome on society at
large including children.

The petition has contended that the age of 18 years to
define adulthood for consensual homosexual act in private is
unreasonable as the age is characterised by changes and
turmoil where the inquisitiveness and peer group pressure play
a major role in the personality development of a child.

The apex court had earlier issued a notice to the
Centre on a petition filed by a Christian body, a disciple of
Yoga guru Ramdev and astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal seeking
a stay on the High Court verdict legalising gay sex on the
ground that it will have a catastrophic effect on the
society`s moral fabric.

All the petitioners have sought setting aside of the
July two High Court verdict legalising gay sex between
consenting adults in private, which was earlier a criminal
offence punishable with upto life imprisonment.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 18:36

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